Over the years I've experimented with several different systems for managing comments on this blog. First, I simply used the default WordPress comment system. But, it's pretty basic and I wanted more options so I installed the Disqus Commenting System.
I used Disqus for a long time. I liked the threaded posts, but I found that sometimes it was slow to load and occasionally it conflicted with other plugins.
Finally, a few months ago, I took the leap and purchased CommentLuv Premium (affiliate link). I love it!
Many bloggers are frustrated because they feel they don't get enough comments from their readers. I'm frequently asked how to encourage more commenting. Beyond the tried and true advice that you need to write compelling content and ASK for comments, I've decided to share the system I use to encourage more comments as well as get repeat visits by my readers.
It took a few weeks and some research to put this blog comment system into place and includes four plugins installed on my blog. There may be some redundancy, but that's OK.
Step 1 – CommentLuv Premium
One the best features of CommentLuv, a robust comment system with a lot of bells and whistles, is that your reader can include a link back to a post on their blog. In fact it's encouraged. When the person commenting adds their blog site URL, a list of their 10 most recent posts pops up for them to choose from. You can set this to show up when the reader posts their first comment or after they've posted X number of comments on your blog. This is a bonus for your reader and it can send some traffic their way and gives them a little link luv.
You can also set it up so the person commenting can share their Twitter handle and link their URL to a keyword. It's up to you how you want to customize the set up.
If you get the unlimited license, you can install CommentLuv Premium on as many blog sites you own and control. Sweet deal.
Step 2 – Comment Redirect
Comment Redirect is a plugin and tactic I discovered on the Outspoken Media blog and implemented immediately. In a nutshell, the first time someone comments on your blog, they are immediately redirected to another page on your site (you have to create the page) where you can thank them for commenting and share any other information you choose. If you've never commented on this blog, post a comment now and you'll see how it works (or click here to see my page)!
What makes this powerful is that most bloggers never thank the people who comment. It's an opportunity to give a surprise bonus gift, ask about your readers' challenges, invite them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, invite them to optin for a free ecourse… you name it. Delight your reader with a big Thank You and there's a good bet they'll subscribe to get your updates and come back for more of your awesome content.
Step 3 – ReplyMe
The ReplyMe plugin is set up so whenever someone replies to a comment, the original comment author will automatically get a an email alerting them to the reply. This is a great way to assure your commenters actually see replies. They may also return to your blog to carry on the conversation. My advice is that you respond to as many comments as you can and that make sense so you start the ball rolling on the conversation.
Step 4 – Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
One feature I could not find on CommentLuv was the ability for readers to get notified about new comments on the post. Frustrating. My colleague Tom Treanor at Right Mix Marketing, told me he used Subscribe to Comments Reloaded which places a checkbox under the comment so anyone, whether they comment or not, can get notified of new comments. Solved my problem.
Now it's your turn.
How do you encourage more comments on your blog? Is there a plugin you love that helps you manage comments? Share in the comments below!